Highlight : Amara Samata

AMARA SAMATA

When the student is ready the Shadow Teacher appears.

Because we have not faced the core illusion of separation, we suffer.

It hurts. There’s nothing like a big dose of agony to get our attention.

Fear rattles the cage screaming “FREE ME PLEASE!”

Due to our endless devotion to fear as a way to evolve we invoke shadow healers into our lives. People who enter our field who are committed to deception disguised as truth. They make great truth-lie-truth sandwiches.  They come in many designs from the most charming to the despicable but they away come in as a direct match to your favorite flavor of fear. So illuminating they are, revealing the price of all that you crave and all that you despise.

Shadow teachers are unaware of the real lessons they bring. If they understood their role in your life they would be conscious. Consciousness doesn’t cast a shadow. Conscious teachers are masters of Compassion & Wisdom. To expose the lies within you, like great magicians, they can use illusion to reveal the truth. Out of love, in the end, all tricks are revealed, full transparency, nothing to hide. The illusion lasts just long enough to show you that you bought into it in the first place. They attract others in a responsible way. It’s not glamorous but it’s real.

Shadow teachers on the other hand, get lost in the magic trick itself. They are restless and often repel others after the initial attraction has worn off. They end up alone burning through friends, partners, students, even family falls away. The have to keep on the run, shape-shifters, retreat junkies, entrepreneurial gypsies. What they serve up and what’s on the menu are two different things. Not in a paradoxical way but in a way that says, “HEY SOMETHING’S NOT ADDING UP HERE?”

The great lesson of the shadow teacher is contrast, that Ah-Ha moment where you finally see what they have been trying to show you all along; your pride, your fear of being alone, poor, unworthy, etc.

When you have identified a shadow healer in your life it’s best to honor them and yourself with confession, forgiveness and open appreciation. To call a shadow person out is a death threat. Truth is crippling to what they thought they were and what they thought they had to offer. Can they follow you out into the light of day?  Sure. Will they? Not many. They love the drama. It hides the trauma within. So they focus on how screwed up you are so they don’t have to look in the mirror. Thank them for being so illuminating of your shadows, such great examples of what NOT to be, excellent imposters, faux-teachers that teach you what’s real.

In this way, the habit of fear-based living can break and LOVE can shine through the cracks they seem to have made in you. Turn 180 degrees and walk in the opposite direction out of the mind games and into heart of Love. They will tell you, if you were really (filling in whatever word describes what you want to be the most) you would stay and play their game.  We need them until we don’t. We have all been one to someone at sometime. Walk into the sun. The courageous ones will follow.

Dear Shadow Teacher,

Thank you for showing up for me when I was not ready for a better way. At least I had you.

Thank you for giving me the chance again and again to see how I bow at the feet of fear.

Thank you for ripping from me all that I assumed I was, stripping me naked and leaving me alone on the side of the road, in the cold, in the spooky part of town.

Thank you for taking me on a tour of scar-city, forcing me to choose between the things, people and experiences I love.

Shadow Teacher, thank you for the exorcism of that haunting whisper, “You my dear, are not enough.”

Thank you for showing me what I am not willing to tolerate any more.

I grieve all the times I couldn’t see what I see in myself now. I grieve that you wont share in this seeing in yourself with me.

Everything you trigger in me is an opportunity to see the path away from you. Know that I walk away out of love.

Amara Samata

Amara Samata

When did you discover an interest in healing?

My Journey began when I was very young.

Seeing the conflict in my world, within my own family and in my school; I was born with a deep desire to question everything. What is going on here? What is God? What is Love? What is True? What is really REAL? How would I know? I had to know.

I had times in my life when I fell into great suffering and sadness as a girl, a daughter, a young woman, an actress, a wife and as a mother devoted to her son. I became interested in healing as a way to overcome the pain of self-sabotage, marital divorce and to make peace with this world and my experience in it.

What transformations have you experienced through your healing journey?

It’s important to understand that healing and transformation is not a destination. It is an on-going ever-present expression of unfolding self and mastering the Self and the No Self. Through the consistent willingness to witness my self and the life I’ve manifested, healing has happened. By healing I mean a capacity to be and express ones self as whole, less fragmented or limited in perception and experience. For instance, as a teen I was badly bulimic for 9 years. It was by finally facing that empty seemingly bottom-less pit of fear within, that I discovered that emptiness is where the magic happens. The empty void is your friend. I also transformed my chronic back pain of 7 years into a pain free spine. I’ve healed low-self esteem and I’ve given birth to the conscious nature that was always there hiding behind the veils of my small me-ness.  In the process I’ve learned to manifest with great skill, I’ve experienced un-earthly bliss and best of all I’ve stepped into my calling without fear or attachment. The calling of the Revealer.

What type of healing do you do?

Well “I” don’t, “do” healing. Healing is a natural by-product of Conscious Awareness.

Calling on all that has helped me evolve, I offer up what worked for me. After 12 years practicing and studying self-empowerment, spirituality, yoga and meditation I ended up mentoring with a Filipino Mystic and Healer and at the same time studying daily with a Tibetan trained Lama.  Together I was transformed through these distinctly masculine and feminine approaches to awakening. The combined result is what I offer to others in the form of hands-on energetic work, guided visualisations, meditation, inner inquiry, clairvoyant readings, sat sang and  intuitive strategic consultations, shaktipad and more.

Amara Samata

How did you develop your abilities and methods?

Whatever worked on me in the thrashings of my dark nights and in the illuminations of the light is what I use.

I have embody more and more what is called “The Skilful Means” to intuitively know what someone needs in order to heal. If it works on a few you can be sure it will work on thousands more. We are more alike then we realise. Out of all that I have found it’s the combination of Conscious Inquiry (asking the right questions at the right moment) and listening with a willingness to live the answer with the totality of one’s being that brings the quickest results.

What do you want people to know about Inner Guidance?

I offer in-depth and personal guidance as well as on-going support to those who come to see me which has resulted in over 1500 people now experiencing themselves in a new and more holistic way. This work with individuals, couples, families, groups, immersions and trainings is what has become the Inner Guidance Institute, an on-line seedling center for self-illuminating offerings.

Amara Samata

What transformations have you witnessed in clients/people you have worked with?

I’ve got the best job in the world! I’m privileged and honoured to be able to see into the depth of others’ systems and offer them the invitation of liberation. I’ve witnessed more than once, rape victims taking back their power and bowing to that experience, letting it go FOR GOOD. I’ve seen families heal old karmic wounds and give each other permission to love and accept one another in new healthy ways again. I’ve seen a woman stand up out of her wheelchair 7 days later and now she drives herself to the gym. I’ve seen a Guru confess their sins of jealousy and misuse of power and return to their students in a more humble and transparent way. I’ve seen a mother commune with her teenage daughter who died and seeing the reasons why she was able to move on with joy. I’ve seen a Muslim father give his ½ Muslim daughter permission to remove her headdress. I’ve seen her shower him with love.

How do you prepare for your sessions and workshops?

I set the intention to have no agenda other than to have no agenda. I disappear into the source of all that is. I listen, pay attention and take note of what inspires and serves others the most.

What do your mentoring and training experiences involve?

They involve you showing up 100% for yourself as we get into a deep line of inner inquiry that reveals the motives behind your actions. In a field of unconditional love, I’m here 1000% for you! Let’s connect.

 What has your greatest realisation or learning been?

The ongoing mastery of the living paradox of everything, nothing and the path that leads right back to NOW. Fear is only Love waiting to be embraced consciously.

Do you have one tip to share for happiness and wellbeing in everyday life?

Yes, every time you catch yourself acting out of lack of trust, fear, obligation or unconscious sacrifice STOP. Give yourself a little love pat and say, “Oh, I’m doing it again. It’s ok, I don’t need to do that. I’m good.”  Take a deep breath in, exhale and respond anew.

What is your favourite music/artists to listen to?

The realms beyond this dimension. There is no music on earth like it. But some come kinda close. I love music created in highest intention. Nature is probably my favorite artist. I do like the power of the human voice.

What are your plans for the future, evolution of what you do?

I have a few opportunities, one is to open a healing center in BALI. It’s going to change the way we think about healing and humanity and it might also just be a nice place to have tea. That seems to be the plan working through me. I’ll be hosting more training programs in other countries and I’m finishing a book.

Anything else you would like to mention or share?

January 15th to 25th 2017

Inner Dance & Inner Guidance Facilitator’s Certification Training.

Come join if you are interested in a profound experience that will give you even more tools and deeper understandings to shift and to serve the world with.

www.amarasamata.com

www.innerguidanceinstitute.com

Inner Gudiance

© Lightening Magazine 2016

Highlight : Beatrice Giampaoli & Yoss Giancarlo Miggiano

beayosscover

When did you discover an interest in yoga? 

YOSS: I started my path of inner growth with martial arts in 1989, then two years later, I discovered yoga. I carried on both disciplines for more than 25 years. From martial arts, I found confidence in myself or self-esteem. From Yoga, I received awareness and inner peace. Through the practice of both disciplines for many years, I have reached the conviction that happiness and the realisation of happiness only depends on our attitude and our self  awareness in everyday life.

Yossmartialarts

BEATRICE:  At the age of three I was already doing gymnastics, and I had always felt that movement is something precious. When I was sixteen years old, I went to India for the first time and there I discovered yoga as a way to unite the world of the body and the philosophy of the heart.

beayoga

What made you decide to become a yoga teacher?

YOSS: Teaching is sharing. I didn’t decide but it was something that I deeply felt in my heart: the opportunity to share the great joy and beauty of yoga with other people and grow together with them.

BEATRICE: I really do not feel myself to be like a teacher, but instead like a worker who, as a little ant does, wants to build a better world.

Would you say that yoga is a method for healing and is that why you teach “Yoga & Medicine”?

YOSS: Yoga is actually much more. Yoga is an ancient science of physical, mental and spiritual growth. Regarding our mind / body system, yoga provides great techniques for better health. However, a good teacher must know perfectly these techniques and in particular how yoga techniques work on the body of the practitioner, especially if he were to have physical problems. In our Yoga & Medicine Teacher Training we study both yoga techniques and the anatomy and physiology applied to Yoga techniques.

BEATRICE: I obtained a degree in medicine and I have done yoga for many years, so I am just following my personal passion for life ; that is sharing what I feel good for myself with others by studying in depth the movement and reaction of the body, and the floating of the mind.

What are the benefits of yoga?

YOSS: How long do I have to answer this? Countless ways. If we pause to reflect on our very existence, we can safely say we are designed to live in health, serenity, joyfully aware and in constant transformation. Yoga helps us achieve this.

BEATRICE: The benefits of yoga are both physical and mental. I believe that by being aware of your movement and your breathing, you can learn to understand more about your inside world. Which is full of light and shadow at the same time. This awareness can help you to be able to surf the waves of life better.

Why specifically do you do this work?

YOSS: What work? For me it is a great opportunity to be able to live by practicing what I love and to share it with those who want to follow me.

BEATRICE: Firstly, I live life as a unity with nature and animals, which corresponds to our inner instinct. By teaching yoga I would like to communicate this union to others.

How did you develop your abilities and methods?

YOSS: With a deep attention to everything I hear around me, both in the world of yoga and in everyday life. Of course I studied a lot with Italian and international masters. But in recent years my greatest growth occurs through reflection and meditation.

BEATRICE: Through practicing, studying and learning just how little we are, I have evolved. By knowing nothing, but capable of breathing and feeling our breath we can find a new way to face ourselves and the world.

How do you prepare for teaching your courses?

YOSS: I do not really prepare myself that much. Of course I have a rough idea of what I want to do in a classroom or in a seminar, but then I follow what I feel in the class and the responses of my students. Often, at the end of the lessons I receive thanks. I always reply by pointing out that I have not done the class alone but together with them and thanks to their energy too.

BEATRICE: I prepare for teaching by practicing yoga every day. Doing research and trying to live in the present as much as I can.

What is it like to teach together with another and how do you make that work?

YOSS: It is a great experience, support and mutual enrichment. It means to be open and fluid.

BEATRICE:  It is a wonderful experience to teach yoga together with another teacher, but it is not always easy to find someone who is on the real wave of sharing.

What transformations have you experienced through doing this work?

YOSS: I love teaching together, it help me lose my reference points, my certainties, giving me fluidity, lightness, flowing together with my partner. In life our greatest certainties can become our biggest influences.

BEATRICE: I have experienced that life is not yesterday nor tomorrow, but it is now.

What transformations have you witnessed in others?

YOSS: Students like to receive a lesson from more than one teacher simultaneously.

BEATRICE: Through yoga I have seen others achieve physical wellness, improvement of flexibility and better alignment of the body. I have also witnessed more ability of people to let themselves dance in the river of life.

What has your greatest realisation or learning been?

YOSS: Lots! Lately, I have felt deeply that I will no longer waste time and energy to change what cannot change, but I do not want to lose a little chance to learn about and change what I can change: myself.

BEATRICE: I have learned that life is a circle with death and that they are not distinguishable. This is the same for all of the opposite forces inside of us.

What is the most powerful type of healing you have personally experienced?

YOSS: Yoga

BEATRICE: Yoga practice has been the most powerful for me.

What is your favourite music/artists to listen to? 

YOSS: Eddie Vedder, and all the artists who express themselves and deep feelings with music.

BEATRICE:  “Spirit Bird” by Xavier Rudd is a song that means so much in my life path, and also”What if God was one of us ?” by Joan Osborne.

Do you have one tip to share for happiness and wellbeing in everyday life?

YOSS: Stop. Breathe. Open your eyes and see if anything has changed in the way of seeing the same old things. It works!

I think we labor to find pleasure, always trying to do new things, we should actually try to find pleasure in doing ever anew the usual things.

BEATRICE: My tip for happiness is to live in the present.

What are your plans for the future evolution of what you do?

YOSS: I’d like to communicate more and more my message and open more than the two yoga studios I already have. The challenge will be to best manage my centres, without losing time for personal practice and teaching. 

Together with Beatrice, we will continue to hold Teacher Training for “Yoga and Medicine”,  where the teaching of yoga is enriched by the medical scientific component, to ensure future teachers a broad and thorough preparation.

BEATRICE: I do not like to plan, I prefer to grasp the moment in life.

Beatrice Giampaoli
BEATRICE GIAMPAOLI
 

Yoss Giancarlo Miggiano Yoss Yoga Suite

© Lightening Magazine 2016

Highlight : Kate Surgey

KATE SURGEY

When did you discover an interest in healing?

My interest in healing began as an interest in preventing suffering. Being a small kid I remember saving our local ants from being killed by the boy next door. I couldn’t bear other kids ostracised or bullied at school, I often used to stand in and protect them – I was just more attuned to others feelings. I loved to sit for hours with my rabbits just stroking them. I knew I had this protective, nurturing capacity within although this was never reflected back to me and I could not put it into words until at 24 I had a powerful experience which catapulted me directly onto a spiritual path, opening doors that I didn’t know existed. I still didn’t know where I was going, but I just knew it made complete sense, and it felt like I had finally come home and found the direction of my calling. It ignited my heart and passion like nothing else.

What made you decide to become a healer?

It depends on how you define ‘healer’. We are all healers, healing ourselves and others as we go through life. But I was increasingly getting messages that the universe wanted me to work directly with people’s emotional, spiritual and psychological issues using spirit, rather than just my everyday self. I felt progressively pushed in directions away from more mainstream ways of helping others into more alternative approaches. Although for many years I was balancing mainstream jobs with healing others, straggling different aspects of myself like I was walking a tightrope – not able to really show my true self as I was somewhere still ashamed of it. Strangely, I finally went full time (with yet another universal push) when I realised that I was no longer resistant to my ‘day’ job or my everyday self – something settled within and the inner conflict was resolved. I had come to terms with life’s learning pace and had accessed a deep patience for it taking just some time. At that point, my transition and readiness to be a full time healer (without a day job), was complete and I found myself having a full client base. I needed a few pushes along the way and a lot of trust in my heart’s desire to do this work.

What type of healing work do you do?

This is a difficult question to answer. I combine many approaches from shamanic, astrological, the Earth Path (Soul Plan system), Process Oriented Psychology, body psychotherapies, and most importantly the Ascended Masters, Sacred fire and Goddess tradition. I don’t do hands on healing, but a lot of following my own awareness and feeling, working with pure intention, as well as invoking higher levels of consciousness. I align myself with what the soul is trying to learn and help the person also get aligned with that. But that’s just a small aspect of the work. Essentially, its supporting people’s Higher Self take up more residence.

What does a healing session with you involve?

There can sometimes at first be a degree of diagnosis and I use my awareness to follow the client’s process in the moment – what their consciousness, energy, body as well as their conscious minds tell me, and then let nature show me the way forward. I hold it all and see where the natural process needs to go. Essentially, the idea is to support a client’s higher self to show up and show them where it wants them to go to be happier. I have increasingly found that just about anything can happen in a session – from silent stillness, to expelling dense energy, to blissful states of consciousness and expansion to dragon roaring. Following the Tao means you never quite know where you are going and where you will end up.

How did you develop your abilities and methods?

In my 20s and 30s, I explored many avenues of spirituality from more traditional to some very contemporary. I went on many courses, read many books, worked with many teachers and I loved just turning up at lectures and talking with people. I have always been innately curious and so I just trained and trained. I wasn’t afraid to spend all my money on my personal development as I knew it wouldn’t go to waste and would pay off in time.

Why specifically do you do this work?

It makes my soul and heart sing, it challenges me in the way I need and it’s what I can offer the world. I am continually growing and learning about myself in this work, as well as learning about life and other people, and I feel like I’m a perpetual student. Also I suspect its the only thing I could do, I didn’t make a very good Personal Assistant and I don’t fit in the mainstream, so I figured I needed to go my own way and then bring the mainstream to me.

How do you prepare for your sessions?

I connect with my Higher Self, check in with myself, notice what’s within me and make no assumptions or judgments about whether it’s my own or my clients’ field of consciousness (as its all part of the same field). In terms of taking care of myself, I actively make sure I don’t invest too much in anything that lowers my vibration, but I also keep the perspective that my inherent loving nature is far more powerful than anything that could possibly ever lower my vibration, that way it doesn’t have any energy over me.

What transformations have you experienced through doing this work?

Both gentle and profound transformations. Some have been painful too. The most profound and positive of which was when I received my first ever Goddess Initiation. It shifted my consciousness to a place where I was finally able to experience love for myself. When I then started initiating other women through the Goddess, I then began to experience a deep love for others. More subtle transformations have come through my studies of Process Work – I am indebted to some amazing teachers and students in the Process Work community who have challenged, pushed and deeply accepted me.

What transformations have you witnessed in others?

I love seeing the penny drop in sessions or when people move out of their relationship polarisations and begin to access more unity and wholeness with others. These are sometimes very small and subtle transformations, but ones we never forget. I’ve also seen people in the midst of distressing emotions one minute, shift to a complete stillness and peace the next. Often it is the small transformations that feel the most profound and sacred.

What has your greatest realisation or learning been?

That’s a big question. To honour all life experience as our teachers, and that if we are wise enough and take the time, we can find ourselves in everyone else’s experiences at some point in our lives and that it’s less about changing who we are into something dramatically different and more about just simply reconnecting with our original nature.

What is the most powerful type of healing you have personally experienced?

The sacred Goddess initiations – the White Fire, Isis and Gate of Grace Initiation channelled by White Eagle of the Whirling Rainbow Foundation.

kate surgey

What is your favourite music/artists to listen to?

Florence and The Machine, Ashana, Eivor Palsdottir, Kate Bush

Do you have one tip to share for happiness and wellbeing in everyday life?

Yes, be curious and open about other people’s viewpoints and get interested in where others are coming from. With that, get good at knowing your own truth and listening to others’ truths.

What are your plans for the future evolution of what you do?

I am currently putting together a Spiritual Counselling training programme beginning March 2017 and we will be running our next Abundant Goddess Programme early next year, with my colleague Sage Emery. We also have our Abundant Goddess Community of women who with us, continue to spread the message of the Goddess and Divine Mother’s presence; grounding her presence in our own lives and that of others, which is the essence of all this work.

Is there anything else you would like to mention or share? 

Spiritual Counselling

The Abundant Goddess

Programmes and Retreats

Free Community of Women

Free Transformational Tools

The Abundant Goddess on Facebook

© Lightening Magazine 2016

 

Highlight : Jana Johnson

Photo by Ulrike Reinhold
Photo by Ulrike Reinhold

Imagine that someone walks into a restaurant and when asked what they want, they answer “I don’t know”. When asked what they like, they answer “I don’t know”.

This happens in my practice more often than not. Over half of my clients, when asked why they came to see me, say “I don’t know. I know there should be more in my life but I cannot access it.”  When I ask what makes them happy or what they want to do, inevitably the answer is often times “I don’t know.”

I feel like so many people these days are disconnected. They don’t know themselves, they don’t know their heart or their soul. They only know their thoughts- a frantic collection of media, family and societal driven wants and insecurities. Perhaps this is why the world is in the state that it is, because so many of us aren’t connected with our inner selves and therefore the world is fragmented, not whole. We are so full of expectations, obligations, projections and programming that we literally “don’t know” what we even want in life.

This is where I help people. I am trained as an energy worker in various modalities, as an intuitive and as a counselor. When people show up in my office all of these skills are used in an effort to bring about some peace, some healing, some shift. My work is ever-changing, deepening, expanding.

The healing modalities can be murky waters in terms of training and practitioners. Pretty much anyone can call themselves an Intuitive or Energy Healer and indeed, how do you train or measure these things anyway? I have always been drawn to rituals and mysticism and, after working in the corporate world for years, this led me to research various worldly religions and spiritual traditions in an effort to find peace and happiness in my own life.

My first healing course was in Reiki, including master level training. I went on to complete a 4-year program called Helix, which has foundational pillars of psychology, spiritual disciplines and energy work/metaphysics, and I was ordained as a minister of the Helix Healing Ministry. The program gave me a strong psychological & spiritual knowledge base, along with years of experiential work as a psycho-spiritual counselor. While continuing my corporate work, I started seeing clients for healing work in 2005 in New York City. In 2009 I stepped out of the corporate world and put my focus on my healing practice.

Since moving to Ubud, Bali in 2012, I have opened to even stronger energy and a deeper connection to my “Higher Self” and with the Divine. My counselling background taught me how to hold space, so clients feel safe enough to explore some of the most intimate and vulnerable places in their life during our sessions. This space allows for their potential healing.

I am in an interesting position, in which I am able to observe what seem to be collective trends in healing, because of where I work. I am based in the largest yoga and healing center in Ubud, Bali, a town known around the world for being a spiritual mecca for seekers, young and old. Tracking the collective healing by various regions in the world has been fascinating.

I have been in Ubud for almost 5 years, offering energy work and intuitive guidance. With my work I bring people back to the heart, to their inner wisdom, to their bodies. I try to deflect any projections they have around me being able to heal/save them and lead them into understanding that they hold the power themselves. People come to me and I do everything I can to find that space in them and lead them there. This might happen through talking and inquiry, it might happen through working energetically on the table.

I can guide clients back to hearing their Truth, but they have to do the work themselves. I’m not a magician and I don’t have any magic cures, but I do have Presence. And in Presence I hold a certain frequency or vibration, which is then offered to the person in front of me as a meeting point. I work energetically, either hands-on or off. I reflect back to them the perfection that I see in front of me. I hold a vibration of Love which surrounds and envelopes the client, inviting them to soften and expand. This is where shifts can happen.

I currently see people for one-on-one sessions and lead meditation classes out of The Yoga Barn in Ubud. I also offer intuitive sessions, supervision for those working in the healing realm, and an 8-week mentoring program all via Skype for my international clients. 

In August I am leading a 6-day workshop for women entitled POWER WEALTH WISDOM and I am so excited about this! Women gathering in community to SPEAK about their lives, LISTEN to others share their journeys, and RISE up to responsibility. I have gathered an amazing group of women to share with us how they bring their evolution as Powerful, Wealthy and Wise women into their professions, relationships, family and daily lives. After each talk we will work with the subjects at hand and find ways to incorporate changes into our lives that support our evolutionary path.

Of course, I am still doing my own work too! I believe it is really important to maintain personal growth, whether you are an energy worker or someone who just wants to be happy in their regular life. I am always open to new ideas and I am curious about what others know that I don’t. I will check out anything that allows me to feel expanded, free, and plugged into the Universe. When I began my spiritual quest I wanted to learn everything so I took lots of classes and read a ton of books. All of that information has helped me build a foundation in which I step off from. I feel the more I learn, the more I realise I don’t know, and yet I believe more and more that I can actually find all that I need to know within- with patience and persistence and continual ego check points.

Jana Johnson

For more information please visit:

Jana Johnson Healing Works website

Jana Johnson Facebook

© Lightening Magazine 2016

Highlight : Jamie Catto

JAMIE CATTO
Photo by Sam Pelly

So, you have started growing vegetables?

Yes, and I have to say these vegetables are going to be so uniquely experimental.

Is that because of the way you’re growing them? 

We’re just bathing them in love and excitement and treating them as if they’re our children. We are just trying everything that they would ever possibly like and singing nursery rhymes to the first sproutings and gonging them with sound. It’s really out there and it’s really fun, actually. When you see them start to popup and germinate, it’s really a turn on. Suddenly, you wake up in the morning and all these little green leaves are popping up out of the swirl. It’s pretty magnificent.

What have you got growing?

In the main farm- some people call it an allotment farm- we’ve got potatoes, beetroots, fennel, some marigold flowers, radishes, cucumbers, sunflowers and artichokes.

What inspired you to grow vegetables?

My girlfriend Raisa. It was turning us on forever. It’s very hard to find truly organic food. I know there are farmer’s markets, but they’re quite hard to find. It’s so much of a turn on to eat your own food, that you grew yourself.

I’d really like to start a community on some land that we’re going to get and I am learning to be more self-sufficient and less dependent on a very corrupt system. 

I’m hoping to have a center called “Lion Heart”, where we would have a conscious dining center and a center for music, writing and performing. We’d have “Heart Mountain”, a child-led school where they choose their own educational directions based on what they feel passionate about. We’d have a laboratory for studying the properties of light and water, which is where the next great breakthrough in technology is going to come from. We will have all kinds of areas for growing vegetables and looking after animals. I really want a whole town of the future. Raisa just wants somewhere nice to live, in a quiet peaceful place. I’m going to have to maybe tone down my massive world domination vision and she’s going to have to put up with some of my more eccentric ideas and we’ll meet in the middle somewhere.

If you start small it could just naturally and organically grow like your vegetables.

I just know that in my career and in my heart, I’ve always started big. I never started small. I usually have some huge big vision and then do the closest thing to it.

That’s an interesting strategy which leads me into a question about your workshops and thinking big. “What About You?” and “Transforming Shadows”. What inspired you to create those workshops?

We had so many wonderful questions and answer sessions when we were presenting our films around the place, both One Giant Leap and What About Me?  All the subject matter in the films was so personal and about practical daily living of life, so the conversations and the Q&As got very deep and people were opening up so beautifully but a 35-minute Q&A session was not enough. I also just wanted to do something else that wasn’t directly creating art and it was actually Raisa who suggested I do it. She just said “Listen, you’ve done your music, you’ve done films, you’ve done everything! Why don’t you book somewhere for a weekend and just offer your direct self and see who shows up?” I was like “well, what would I do with them for that weekend?” She said “Well, what do you have to share?” I think the one thing I do know about that not everybody does know about, is how to have an idea and take it all the way through the stages of actually making it, releasing it, having a bar code on it and maybe some awards and everyone loving it. So, I thought I’d make the weekend about that.

The main workshop now is “Transforming shadows”. That’s where we go inside and meet all the crazy characters that live in our head and all the dysfunctional beings that keep leaping out and sabotaging things, so we give them new jobs. That’s become more what I do now but on the project building master class “What About You?” we’ve now greenlit more than 1000 new companies and projects that definitely work.

I think the secret is not just in thinking big, you have to think big while having zero attachment to the outcome. That’s what everybody forgets. 

You’ve got to do everything that you love and it will be so enjoyable, so even if it never got big it was still time well spent because you love doing it so much! If you can find something that you love the process of so much that, of course, you would prefer it to be big – but it’s not a deal breaker as to whether it was a good use of your time- then that’s what you should be doing.

I always ask everybody in the workshop “if you had all your life expenses paid for, what would you do after breakfast?” That’s your project.

Awesome wise words! So how has “Transforming Shadows” taken over?

I think because everybody benefits from going in and meeting crazy beings that are inside them, that they usually try to push away and instead realising that they have just been looking at them wrong. Everybody can benefit from that. Not everybody will create the project they really want to do by having no jobs and families, they’re not all waiting to do that great dream project.

Do you think that everybody can dive that deep? It’s not easy work, right?

It goes deep but it’s fun. If I only feel satisfied when you go deep then I’m “vamping” you to go that deep. Some people come and they go crazy deep, other people come and they just have an interesting intellectual experience and find that they walk away with some interesting new things to think about. Now that’s obviously what’s appropriate for them at that moment where they are. It’s nothing to do with me from where our vessel journey is taking them. I just cook the food and some might eat three bowls full and others might just have one mouthful, and the other one might spit it out. That’s none of my business. It’s very important as a teacher to not attach to how deep people go. Everybody’s got their own soul journey and for some, their process and their progress go fast, some other people are slow. I make it as palatable and as fun and accessible as possible and then I don’t attach one more inch to what people will do with it.

What are the benefits of attending a group process versus maybe one-on-one therapy?

I think it’s different things for different people. When you have a group, it’s wonderful for people who feel quite isolated; especially isolated in their dramas. They suddenly realise that their dramas are exactly the same as everybody else’s just with different hats on. Obviously with one-on-one I can go deeper and give focused attention for a whole hour or longer. 

I just think that the greatest benefit of all is that whatever ailments you have just seem to disappear afterwards and that wasn’t my intention. The amount of letters I get from people that say “I did your workshop and I’ve had 20 years of eczema and it’s gone.” or “I’ve had panic attacks or depression and it’s just gone, I haven’t had it since the weekend” or “I’m now talking to my daughter for the first time in eight years”. None of these things are directly intended, they are just the obvious things that happen when you start editing yourself down and you stop running from 20% capacity so you start opening up to all the treasure that you always had inside. Most illnesses are a symptom of not doing that. Illness is a symptom of suppressing and holding ourselves back, of containing and hiding, of being dishonest with ourselves and to other people or wearing masks and playing roles. That’s what creates illness, all that suppression. So obviously when people start practising techniques which are less suppressive, then their body doesn’t need to act out with those ailments to get their attention as much because they’re doing what they should be doing. I believe a lot of disease, maybe all but certainly the majority of minor ailments, is really your body trying to tell you to stop suppressing.

That’s an interesting perspective. Do you have groups of people come to work on those things on retreats?

I would like to do that at Lionheart.

You do walking and hiking where you take people up a mountain, don’t you?

Yes, we do the heart mountain retreat in the fall and we’re doing a residential What About You? project master class on a beautiful Greek island called Paros in July that is also coupled with our music. We’re making an album there with incredible musicians. People are allowed to walk through in the evenings and hear what we’ve composed. There’s also one coming up in Nicaragua in October. These are usually things I’m invited to do. I rarely think oh I think I’ll do a weeklong retreat and arrange all of that.

How do you prepare yourself for holding space, and presenting and teaching workshops and retreats? 

I can’t really do any preparation at all apart from my usual preparation for living my life, which is just being me- a more different, more prepared me for that group. I just be me. The most authentic version of myself in the moment that I can be and I trust that the rest will unfold.

That word authentic is very important in what you do and it seems to be the cornerstone of what you’re teaching.

However you are behaving will usually elicit that from whomever you’re in front of. So, if you’re being a petulant, argumentative little bitch, you’re going to bring out the petulant argumentative little bitch in the person you’re talking to.

So, people are a mirror?

Yeah. And the more you’re in your center and you’re authentic and you’re loving and kind, and not “doing kind” just being kind, which is a natural state. That kind spacious open part of someone else in front of you finds it generally quite easy to come forward.

That’s very true. Do you want to say a bit about your transition from pop star and filmmaker to where you are now?

I don’t really think about it as a transition. I think about it as an addition. I am still making beautiful music and I’m making a great film with Ram Das where we’re walking each other home. I’m still doing all of that. I’m just doing more I guess.

Is it like being on stage performing, when you lead workshops?

There is a performance aspect to it, as I’m like a fool. I’m not playing the fool and by me being like that, it makes everyone laugh at how we all are. So there’s a slightly performance aspect to being the first one to be ridiculous and being the walking permission slip for everyone else’s foolishness. And obviously, it does feel good when everyone’s really receptive but it’s not as rehearsed as performance can be, it’s much more spontaneous. I really enjoy that. When someone asks a question which I haven’t answered before, I usually will say something much more insightful and deep when put on the spot. So, I really love being asked questions.

So you even have given a Ted Talk, right? How was that?

Well that was funny. That was the first 16 minutes that I ever spoke without notes because you can’t have notes. That was just the beginning of totally jumping off the deep end with my mouth and trusting it would come out fine. And it was okay. Yeah, it was nice. Now I never use notes even if I’m talking for an hour. I’m doing a workshop this evening in about one hour from now called Ego Volcano.

Are you deconstructing the ego volcano or are you exploding it?

Well, it is about enjoying it but not being obsessed with it. The ego is an illusion and I think we’re meant to meet the ego fully and enjoy all it’s individual characteristics. I’m also remembering not to be governed by all its comparative uptight worries. That doesn’t mean eradicate it like many people try and do.

Right, so it means to just understand it?

Yes, understand it. It’s like, if you imagine playing a video game and you’ve got the little guy on the screen running around. You’ve got you on the joystick making it jump around. The guy on the screen is the ego. You are the glare of the game of the joystick. So the ego is directed by you. Most people think they are the character on the screen and they don’t realise that they are the ones holding the joystick so they’re just moving for whatever the ego wants. It’s a whole load of drama.

Is it possible to sit behind the ego and not be in it’s totally competitive uptight state, being very present, noticing how uptight it is and noticing all its fun thinking and still not taking actions or writing emails from that ego place. You still notice all the urgings, but you’re the soul who directs what actual actions get taken and what words get said.

So you’re about to go and teach that to a group of people this evening. Meet the Ego. Is this the first of that kind of workshop for you?

No, I’ve been sharing this with our online workshop groups once a month and we’ve done “Mojo Blast”, we’ve done “Looking for trouble”, we’ve done “What About You?” and many others. 

Do these all form chapters in your new book “Insanely  Gifted”?

Insanely Gifted is a condensation of all my workshops. The basic message is that if we really feel our feelings and participate with what our genius body is doing to discharge uncomfortable feelings and if we are really willing to be in a state of listening not doing (and other things like that), then life becomes much, much more relaxing and fulfilling.

Our creative projects, our intimacies, our missions, our parenting, our sex lives, they all skyrocket when we go into the listening field, into the spaciousness, into the space around things rather than constantly being yanked left and right by them. We need to give ourselves a moment of space, a moment of pause, and a moment of listening all the time.

It’s a book about all the different things I’ve learned from many different cultures. It’s about all the different tools that I’ve learned to be in balance and to be the most successful, enjoyable, full of potential life masterpiece that you can come up with.

What’s the greatest key that you’ve been given or that you’ve found along the way for staying in balance?

The ability to walk around inside of your body and like a wine-taster, feel what’s being felt in a different place when you’re feeling reactive, rather than abandon that feeling and fight whoever did it to you.

If somebody triggers you or something upsets you, usually what we do is jump into the masculine side of our essence and jump into controlling it back to how we want it, fighting that person, manipulating that person, complaining, escaping. We rarely do the feminine thing, which is instead of doing something we decide not to let it impact us. Instead of turning away from the feeling, turn towards that feeling. Feel it, know that it was yours already. No one put it in you. They may have triggered you, but they didn’t cause that feeling, rather they are triggering feelings that already live in you and have been there like little pressure cooker time bombs waiting to go off. This really is the difference between living life as a slave or living life powerfully!

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 © Lightening Magazine 2016